Hey guys I need a bit of help from those who are in the art world (or at least more in it than me which is not hard lol). I was packing up my things to move out and my mom told me to "take whatever paintings I wanted" from our house to add some color to my completely hospital white home and abode. I went through our paintings and among many found one from my childhood that's in need of some TLC. It belonged to my great grandmother and has over the course of time bulged out from its frame and is brittle (not severely so but enough to make me worried). I contacted a couple of art galleries but they're still contemplating whether or not they'll do repairs on an oil painting for someone not associated with a museum, etc.
Do any of you know of a good repair place? I don't want it to come back even worse or be really altered in any way. I've been looking online but all the ones I've managed to find have been only willing to deal with galleries, museums, or private collections instead of just the 'commoner' I suppose. Any help is greatly appreciated (also I would prefer the place to be in the US, and any place around Indiana is a bonus!)
It sounds like you have a fair degree of "craquelure" which is merely a cobweb affect of fine cracks. Very common in older oil paintings where the paint has shrunk slightly away from the canvas. It is not viewed as unsightly as many artists intentionally "age" their work by creating this appearance.
The sagging is a different matter however. I would get estimates to lightly tighten the canvas. Sometimes they will recommend re-lining the painting where the entire back has another canvas layer applied. This obviously adds stability, but also makes surface repairs easier. This method would be considered when the item is extremely fragile. That doesn't sound like your case.
Depending on its value, you can also tighten the canvas yourself by misting the backside with hot water, but PLEASE research this first and only then try a small test at the corner. Google "restretching oil painting" and you will be surprised how much information you find. I just checked for you. :)
The cracks and lines add a nice textural quality to many pieces of art, so don't try to Botox them away.
Post a pic if you can and good luck !